Why I Want My Son To See Me In A Swimsuit

Warm weather is here and I am so happy! The trees and flowers have all blossomed, the weather is perfect for taking walks with little man, and the pool in our apartment complex is open for the season! I have always loved going to the pool for the summer; growing up we used to practically live at my grandma’s pool. My husband and I were so excited to take my son to the pool for the very first time.

I had gotten little man the cutest swimsuit and he strolled down to the pool in his red push car, dawning his adorable l sunglasses. He was definitely looking adorable, but I wasn’t so sure how I was looking. I still am not completely happy with my progress of getting my body back from pregnancy. My one and only bathing suit is my bikini that was pre-baby and pre-pregnancy. As I was walking down to the pool with my husband and my adorable baby boy, I briefly thought if I would look okay in my bathing suit to be at the pool. But then I immediately realized that I was not going to miss out on one second of fun because I was worried about what other people would think of me in my bathing suit. I wanted to swim with my son for the first time and I was going to enjoy it!

I realize that we may not ever be completely comfortable with our bodies, and body image is a hard topic for most women (thank you media). We have to work on accepting our bodies, especially our postpartum bodies because they have really gone through so much and created a life! I decided to make a promise to myself that I would never let any self-conscious thoughts prevent me from enjoying time with my family. It is no one’s business what my body looks like and I won’t care what they think. I also thought that letting my son see me in my swimsuit, especially as he gets older, will actually be good for him for a few reasons.

Seeing his mom in her swimsuit will show him a few things. First, it will show him what a real women’s body looks like. The media portrays such unrealistic images that those air-brushed, touched-up images can often be considered the norm when women in real life don’t look that way. I want him to have a healthy image of women’s bodies and it starts with being able to see his mom as a real and confident woman. Hopefully this will help him have a healthy appreciation and respect for women.

Second, it will mean that his mom will always be having fun side by side with him. No matter what the activity may be, I will always want him to know that I will be next to him and enjoy life with him. I can remember growing up that my mom didn’t like to get in her swimsuit all the time. Don’t get me wrong, she would get in the pool, but she always seemed self-conscious about it. When she would go swimming with us, she would want to wear a wrap to cover up, or she wouldn’t want to get her hair wet. I want my son to know that I will be right by his side having fun with him, no matter how I may appear.

Lastly, I hope that it will show him to be confident in his own skin. Women are not the only ones who can be self-conscious of their bodies. I want him to know that he should be proud of himself, in any situation. Kids pick up on everything we do, including how we treat ourselves and how we talk about our bodies.  I don’t want to give him an example of self-doubt or insecurities about body image. It seems like women always talk down about their bodies at one point or another; that we are not thin enough, not toned enough, not something enough. This kind of talk implants a thought in kid’s minds that they should think about these things too, and that maybe that are not enough as well. I never want my son to feel that his body is imperfect, which means that I need to talk positively, and feel positively about my body for him!

So yes, I want my son to see me in a swimsuit! He will see that his mom may not perfect but I am happy in my own skin and I will always be right by his side having fun. I had a fabulous mother’s day at the pool and was rockin’ my bikini!

Stop Body Shaming Ourselves and Others

As a new mom, your body goes through countless physical changes. Of course it has to in order to pull off the ultimate magic trick of birth; the equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a thimble. But somehow watching our bodies change so drastically is a cause of self-consciousness, negative self-body image, and even low self-esteem. And what is worse is that other people feel it is appropriate to comment on our appearances, as though they have the audacity to wonder why our bodies are not the same as they were pre-baby!  Instead of reveling in the miracle of what our bodies did, and viewing those physical changes as proof of what it accomplished, it is viewed as being flawed (by ourselves and others).

What inspired this post was a comment from a fellow new mom. She had shared her experience shopping at a department store (that shall remain nameless):

“The lady who helped me yesterday at [the store] was terrible. She was rude and told me that I should find ways to work on my saggy stomach…”

It should be noted that the associate knew she was a new mom as well, which makes this comment even more offensive.

We have to stop body shaming! As new moms, we are harsh enough on ourselves that we definitely do not need anyone else to comment on our physical appearance (other than to say we are ravishing). It is no one’s business what our bodies look like post baby. So on behalf of all new moms, no we do not want to hear what you have to say! Like my mama always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

To all mamas- I challenge you to find something positive to tell yourself about your body, and embrace the changes it went through. And for the next time someone dares to comment on your physical appearance may I offer these comebacks (because you always think of them too late):

To the woman who says your stomach is large: “Yes, of all people I know that it did just accommodate a watermelon, but what’s more exciting is your great news, when are you due?!”

To the person who asks what how much you gained: “Oh, I gained a beautiful baby and his/her unconditional love! I would say I gained quite a bit, wouldn’t you?”

To the person who asks what you are doing to lose weight: “Oh, I am so glad you noticed, I gave birth and immediately lost 10-15 pounds! It’s the best weight loss program I have done yet!”

And remember, your body is YOURS, so don’t let anyone (including you) try to let you feel bad about yourself. As long as you are happy and healthy, it does not matter what you see in the mirror, and the weight on the scale is just a number… We should all be supportive of each other and work to lift each other up, not tear each other down. Was there a time when someone said something inappropriate to you? What did you do?